Annual ring growth of Quercus liaotungensis trees in natural forests bounded by desertified region in the Loess Plateau of China was investigated for the evidence of climatic influence. Increment cores were sampled and cross-dated for 120 trees from six stands 0.5-2.5 km apart. Site tree-ring chronologies were created using general dendrochronological techniques. The results of correlation analyses between tree-ring indices and monthly climatic variables indicated that radial growth was positively correlated with precipitation in September of the previous year and that from April to June of the current year. Ring widths were negatively affected by temperature during spring and summer. In contrast, mild temperature in the previous October showed a positive influence. The results suggest that precipitation is important in the early growing season when soil and air are dry, and that high temperatures tend to reduce radial growth in this region. September rainfalls and a warm October may provide conditions that facilitate carbon storage, favor soil microbial activity, and promote root growth and shoot maturation against detrimental effects of stresses in the following seasons. There were also some differences among plots in the effects of both climatic variables probably as a result of different structures and geographical conditions that modified microenvironments. The results may contribute to the reforestation management of the area. It is expected that Q. liaotungensis forests should be ecologically established in this region on shady and half-shady slopes where air and soil drought stresses are not serious.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science